The rules of baby clothes

I will never understand the selling of used baby clothes as a regular thing. I totally get it if you’re in need of money and have friends/others who want to help you out, that makes total sense… but as a regular thing? Like a, “my friend is having a baby, let me sell her my used baby clothes” thing? I don’t get that.

I see it on Facebook a lot. Mostly from the more… shall we say upper class moms who buy from haute couture places and try their best to ensure their baby looks like Baby Beckham or or Baby Brangelina (you know the type). An entire album gets filled with images of individual articles of baby clothing lying on an unvacuumed carpeted floor, photographed with bad flash and weird light, selling at prices nearly the same as what they bought them for last year. I always like to assume this is because they believe the other types of moms will foam at the mouth for them and therefore pay any price, you know, because they wouldn’t normally be able to get such beautiful things*. After somewhere between two weeks and two months of no response, the albums get taken down and the clothes quietly given away, or wrapped and re-gifted for someone’s birthday party.

The hand-me-down cycle has been a key part of my life since childhood, and regardless of your income bracket it’s probably been at least a small part of yours too. When I was growing up, “new clothes shopping” meant getting black Hefty bags of random clothes from random people that we pick through to find the best stuff. It was like getting one of those mystery prize boxes at the store: some items were good, some bad, some you didn’t know what to do with or how they got there, but regardless of the contents you always came out feeling like you’d scored something awesome.
I remember a few times when my mother and her best friend chipped in with a few other local women and purchased these seamless (or covered seam, at least, and tagless) tie-dye clothes from a European co-op for all their super-sensitive kids. Keep in mind this is the 80’s so seamless and tagless clothes barely existed. I was somewhere around 8 when they arrived and I loved them to death. They were good quality too; some of the only clothes my mom ever bought brand new.
When I was 18 I was walking through the village and saw a little girl wearing those same tie-dye seamless pants. I didn’t even know her. The hand-me-down cycle had grown far beyond our friends and acquaintances and moved onto total strangers. The next stage past that is trans-national; when someone sends them by mail to a friend in another part of the country.
These were definitely my old pants, and remember this is an area with less than 8k people at the time so we tended to share (even the stuff you didn’t want to share got shared).

The trade wasn’t just limited to baby clothes, of course. Swings, playpens, walkers (before they were illegal), toys, little pedal cars and dolls… everything got passed around. The baby clothes circuit could make a new mom go from zero to hero in two weeks flat and by the end of it she’d have enough clothes to dress triplets.
I see some people talk about the hand-me-down idea as if it’s a terrible shame, or even something to hide. While I can understand it’s relationship to poverty, it’s far from exclusive to the poor. For instance when Z was born we could afford to buy her a wardrobe of new clothes if we’d wanted to, but didn’t see the reason for it when we have so many friends in our immediate (and even secondary) circles who have had little girls. Before we knew it we were receiving offers for clothes on a regular basis, even by random people standing on the playground at my kids’ school.

It isn’t just a random free for all though. There are rules to the trade. No one has them written on the boxes and bags, but we all know and abide by them.

The “Golden Rule” of hand-me-downs is that if you get clothes you don’t need, or don’t like, you give them away to someone else (breaking the cycle by trying to sell them is considered rather shitty, unless it’s clear you’re in dire need and have few options).
Other rules include :
1. Everything must be washed and folded.
2. Everything must be organized by size (a few stragglers in the next size up or down are fine so long as they generally match the size of the main batch).
3. If you give away heavily stained, torn or worn clothes, you’re a dick and no one wants your smelly clothes anyway.
4. The clothes should be free of excess pet hair or cigarette stench.
5. Take good care of them and do your best to keep them in good health as long as you reasonably can.
6. When you’re done with the items, and if they’re still in wearable condition, give them away to someone else in need.

People who break these rules are bad, and they should feel bad, and you should not trade with or accept clothes from them ever again.

People who follow the rules faithfully are good and should feel good about themselves. You should treat them to a cup of coffee or a knitted hat.

Speaking of knitting (see that? I had a seamless segue) I went out and found this amazing little yarn store in the corner of a quiet neighbourhood and spent over an hour walking through and touching things. I eventually settled on buying a shitload of this beautiful hand-dyed merino in these lovely olive/green tones. I really want to make this jacket for myself with it, but the wool is a size too small. The pattern wants worsted and I have DK. I did a few swatches in varying needle sizes, and can’t come up with the gauge it wants.. but I love the yarn so much. What I love about Ravelry is the ability to see how other people made the project with various yarns and weights and such, and I can see that half a dozen others made this project with fingerling or DK weight yarn and it worked well for them. They seemed to make the largest size and adjust on the fly, which is what I figure I’ll try doing. I think I know enough about knitting now to manage that. At least I hope I do. If there’s one thing the Helldress taught me, it was how to unfuck shit.

PS. Pictures.

Z’s 7 month portraits.

And some from yesterday when she was being cute for no reason whatsoever.

Also this, because it’s cute. And naked babies are extra cute.

Links of the Day:
Marble Hornets – A ‘found footage’ style horror flick, made by a small group of newbies utilizing YouTube to host pieces of clips and tapes that the main character discovers or records himself during a year long investigation into what happened to his friend. In some cases over seven months go by between uploads, adding to the realism and sense of desperation the characters convey. It’s not exactly Hollywood, and the pacing can be slow and the acting cheesy at times, but it’s surprisingly suspenseful and I’d love to see it get made into a proper movie.
Oglaf – An extremely clever, funny, sexy webcomic for porny geeks – written by a brilliantly hilarious woman. Curtis’ coworker turned us onto it and we’re completely hooked. It is extremely NSFW and very explicit at times, so don’t read around kids or at work.
Slut-shaming and why it’s wrong – This one is making the rounds, so you may have seen it. If you haven’t, it’s worth a watch. A precocious 13 year old explains what slut shaming is, why it’s wrong, and how it contributes to sexism and rape culture. I promise you’ll learn something from this girl.

* It’s sarcasm, people. Don’t take it too seriously.

Comments

comments

68 Comments

  • bluealoe says:

    Hand-me-downs: I spent a large chunk of my childhood in villages off the road system, where getting anything new required bringing it in on an airplane or barge, which of course was ridiculously expensive. Once you got it, it was there to stay. Hand-me-downs weren’t just common, they were *necessary*. You use and re-use and pass it along until it’s in tatters. If it was something more expensive like furniture, maybe you’d sell it to the next person, but always for cheap. It was just part of life, and not doing that just seems so foreign to me.

    I’ll never forget when someone in my mom’s town bought a brand new car and had it shipped in by barge. Not only was that outrageously expensive, it looked so out of place among all the old, rusted, re-painted cars in town. We were all shocked…why would you buy a new car when you could get a perfectly good second-hand car for much cheaper?

    The yarn store sounds wonderful. I can’t knit or crochet well at all, but I love to just look at beautiful yarn.

    Z is so adorable. Her eyes are just stunning. And 7 MONTHS?! What the hell?

  • noelove says:

    naked butts are so FUCKING cute.

    see the way we do clothes around here is a clothing exchange, everyone brings something, and if they don’t that’s ok too. We lay everything out by size, people go through pick what they want, the leftovers go to good will. The end.

    I usually set aside like the super cute, or memorable stuff for a friend who I know will appreciate the sentimental value of the clothing. Even the expensive stuff that got handed down to me. I wouldn’t think of selling it to a mom. We’re all in need. and I got fucking BLESSED AS ALL GET OUT for Stella since she was the girl and hand down all her stuff to my friends.

    I don’t get women who sell them like you’re talking about.

    also that fucking spectacular little girl who did the video on slut shaming has a facebook! I LIKED her over there! https://www.facebook.com/astrorice?sk=wall

  • Anonymous says:

    Its big business where I live. Every fall and spring every church preschool in town has consignment sales.

    One of my rules about the clothes: I always label the initial of the child its from and I return them all wether the parent asks me to or not.

  • timmytm says:

    I’m a cheapskate and kids outgrow clothes in the blink of an eye. People actually care?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hand-me-downs

    I really enjoyed your views on sharing baby things, and was going to share this post on my Facebook, until I got to the end. While I enjoyed it, I can’t share language like that on my page without offending many people who might read it. I wish you’d written it without the unnecessary words.

  • Anonymous says:

    I chalk up the anti-used clothing attitude to NMS (New Mom Syndrome). When I was pregnant with my first child, I totally thought if you bought used clothes for your kids, you were a bad parent. Because, you know, used clothes were full of germs or something. I got over myself after I spent nearly $100 at Baby Gap on ONE OUTFIT and found similar items at the local kids’ thrift store for far less than a quarter of that price. Now I have two kids and refuse to buy them new clothes on general principle…unless it’s like, Target or Walmart clearance.

    And Zephyra is ADORABLE!! Love naked baby chub. Hubby and I are discussing baby number 3 and this video/pictures are making my ovaries scream…

    Bethany

  • crustyshoes says:

    With vintage stuff and thrifting being so trendy right now, you’d think people would be more into hand-me-downs.

    When I was little, most of my clothes were hand-me-downs or second-hand kids clothing stores, and when we were done with them we boxed them up and shipped them to our family in Poland. Over there they were passed through many, many families since at that time it was hard to get clothing in Poland. My mom’s wedding dress was worn by at least 15 different brides. We passed on our toys/baby stuff too, but to families in the area. We had a duplo train set that went from us down through several families in our neighbourhood, to the school my mom teaches at, and now back to us. I think it’s pretty cool that a piece of clothing or a toy can have such a life/story behind it. I really don’t get the big deal with “used”, especially for kids. They’re not going to wear it for very long anyway. I agree with your rules forsure. Nothing worse than receiving a big pile of moldy clothes!

  • satinworship says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the third picture of you holding Z is a peek into the future when/if Tempest has a baby? I think that’s the most dead ringer picture ever.

    I know someone who will comb the clearance racks for days but would never deign to put their child in used clothing. I wore my brother’s hand-me-downs all through toddlerhood (and my mom cut my hair so I was often mistaken for a boy), and most of my clothes were thrifted. I still have and wear a shirt that i’ve had since late grade school.

    On the other hand, my mom refused to buy me new (to me) pants when I grew out of my stirrup stretch pants, even though the crotch was getting pulled halfway down to my knees. That was 5th grade, when girls started noticing what I was wearing and it was really embarrassing. I’m surprised I didn’t develop a complex about used clothes.

  • lalicopa says:

    I seriously wanna bite Z’s lil baby butt. That is all.

  • clothes rules

    As a single mom with 3 boys, I don’t how I would have lived without hand me downs. Now there are alot of free cycle groups in my area and I am constantly getting gently used clothes for all of my grandchildren. I also pass clothes, mine, the kids the grandkids, everyone likes someone elses clothes. Its super fun going thru and finding somthing you would not have bought for yourself but being gifted makes it exciting..Great post! Do they have free cycle in your area? It’s a yahoo based group here.

  • soulwaver says:

    I have two boys, three years apart, but about one size in clothing apart. 0.o When my eldest (7) was born, I received boxes and boxes of clothes from a woman who worked w/my mother. Awesome stuff. Tie dyed, hand made, knitted, some store bought. Nothing fancy but absolutely made me giggle in excitement. That’s all he wore for the first three years of life, as she gifted me w/ranging sizes. When my second son (4) was born, all these clothes went to him. He is just now outgrowing them. Since then, I’ve given what hasn’t fallen apart through two vivacious boys wearing them to my best friend’s son, my little cousin, and kept two shirts for keepsakes. (One which states “I Love Boobs”.) Even now, whatever my eldest son receives, it is automatic that my younger will inherit them. And they both are fine with that. They only, ONLY get “new” clothes during Christmas. Anyhow, tangent over, lol. Just saying, post was awesome!

  • ryissa says:

    Interesting that you made this post at this time, because I’m madly trying to donate household products I can’t be around anymore thanks to MCS. I wouldn’t dream of actually asking for money even if these things were “nice quality”. I couldn’t do the same for clothes either, baby clothes or not! It just seems tacky to me to sell those types of things…

  • Around our parts, hand-me-downs are really common among family and very close friends. If there aren’t kids within an appropriate age group, they either get donated or sold for cheap in a garage sale. My cousins used to drive up from their smaller town, and we’d all go around the city looking for clothing. Stuff at garage sales are usually $.10-$1.00 and pretty nice. The only time I see the kind of sales you are talking about is in some of the upper-middle class circles. The really rich people usually donate everything and those of us below that sell everything. Garage sales are a really important part of our community’s social life, too.

  • I was noticing on the Craigslist here in Florida, all the good quality strollers are selling for near their original cost and are several years old. People can be greedy, desperate and don’t realize when they have enough abundance.

    What do you think about in place of passing them on to other people you know, just donating them to a non profit?

    • admin says:

      I think that’s awesome. 😉 When we can’t find someone to give to, we usually give to the Big Brothers and Sisters, the Transition House (women in need), and similar organizations that can pass on the clothes, toys and items to families that need them. We also give to the women’s shelter regularly. They even sent our family a holiday card this year, which was really sweet. 😀

      • Anonymous says:

        BB&S

        I just thought I’d let you know, any clothing you give to BB&S in Vic gets sold by the pound to VV, meaning Walmart makes all the profit from selling the clothing at atrociously high for second-hand clothing prices. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel comfortable knowing my donations are doing almost nothing for the charity I give them to, so I always donate my hand-me-downs that I can’t pass on to WIN.

        • admin says:

          Re: BB&S

          I’d never heard that before. Do you have a source for this?

          (Win is awesome though, my SIL’s mother started it, though they sold it like 11 years ago now…)

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: BB&S

            I don’t actually have any source I can point you too, it’s info I was told by three different people I know who have worked for BB&S doing collection during their big collection drives. At the end of the collection period they bring everything they’ve received (and sorted into various categories, it’s days of work for the volunteers) to VV, where all material, be it clothing or bedding or whatnot, is sold by the pound at ridiculously low rates, and all household items are simply given to them for free. As VV is owned by Walmart (and has been for years now) non of the actual profits made from selling any of it goes to charity. I’m sure BB&S do make some money, otherwise why would they do their big drive every year? But, it’s not as much as it should/could be, and really, giving my (potential) money to Walmart just feels wrong to me. I’d rather do a garage sale and give the proceeds to BB&S myself, or, as I said, give the goods to WIN where I know it’s being used to help the community I live in.

            • admin says:

              Re: BB&S

              Hmm. Good points. I’ll have to check in to this a little more.

            • Anonymous says:

              Re: BB&S

              My mother helped open the VV downtown Victoria. Well, it’s far worse than you could imagine — they don’t pay their employees enough and they cut corners to keep to code. The store downtown has been at least a dozen times told to repaint, and remove all vermin. What’s the problem? they have too much stuff for the size of places they open. In fact if there’s ever a fire or a major earthquake (ok, lets face it we’ve had some heavy duty earthquakes on this Island) but if they ever have one that can or might total the building it could harm a lot of people or cause deaths.
              here’s one article http://www.grabnewsmuseviews.ca/jan08/valueVillage.html
              and I don’t donate to the Canadian Diabetes anymore because they do the same thing sell the stuff per lb at a very low rate, and VV makes millions of dollars.

              It’s one of the places I will not donate too, or shop in.

    • Florida-

      I am in the panhandle and here there is yahoo based group called free cycle. It’s local and a great way to get stuff and get rid of stuff also.

  • Consignment sales are huge here. I mean, small clubs and business set up a 4-day sale, taking 30-50% profit (although my twins club only took 10% profit). From the time my DD was born until she was about 5, I bought about 80% of her clothing at consignment sales, for $2-$4 per outfit. And would sell them back the next year for $1-$2 per outfit. Everything that didn’t sell was donated to the women’s shelter. Baby equipment and toys, too. It funded the next year’s clothing/toys for my kids. It’s the way it works here, honestly, and as a SAHM, it was about the only way my kids had enough decent clothing. We were given some hand-me-downs for the boys, but I always made sure I gave those away rather than selling them. Both of my sisters have younger girls, so once they were born I would set aside the nicest stuff to hand down to them and sell the rest at the consignment sale. Now that my kids are older and there is little in their sizes at the consignment sales, I give their clothing away either to my nieces or to our schools to give to kids who need it.

  • oopidsnot says:

    You look great in those pictures! I miss you so much, which makes you look even more amazing 🙂 *love*

    The outfit Z is wearing… handmade? I know the fabric, but haven’t seen that colourway before. I wants it 🙂

    • admin says:

      Since your first comment came in without you being logged in, I was totally weirded out by a stranger saying they missed me so much… hahaha! I miss you too. 🙁 🙁 We need to hang once Freja gets better. Poor thing. How is she doing today?

      The outfit: no it isn’t hand-made. It was in one of the random bags/boxes of stuff I got recently, so I’m not actually sure who it came from, but it did have a tag.

      • oopidsnot says:

        I linked here through your FB update, and didn’t realize I hadn’t actually signed in to LJ yet before commenting 🙂

        Was the outfit WAHM made? Lots of them have their own branding and tags. Though, that might explain why that colourway has *never* been offered where I get my fabric from.

        Freja appears okay while we keep on top of her pain medication. One of her knees is giving her trouble, similar to arthritis. She’s had a rash for over two weeks, and the last doctor we saw about it says it’s a viral rash. The one before that said fungal, though the medication we were given for that seemed to do absolutely nothing. She also developed a cold yesterday. And on top of that, we finally get snow and she’s not allowed to run, jump, or do anything that might irritate her knee. Plus, she misses school terribly and all of her friends.

        However, I’m finally feeling as though we’re making progress on the road to recovery.

        • Two years ago I bought a dress in a retail store, and then last year I saw a bolt of exactly the same fabric at the fabric store! I guess it wasn’t so shocking, in retrospect, because the dress was made in Canada. But I was still surprised! My local fabric store also sells a lot of “designer prints” which are also used to make commercially-produced ready-to-wear clothes and accessories, I think.

          (Sorry to hear Freja isn’t feeling well!)

        • admin says:

          Poor thing. 🙁 We’ve all been thinking of her.

  • To my mind, hand-me downing is simply responsible consumerism. Because my kids are usually the smallest in any given group, I rarely have the opportunity to “give back” to the people who pass things along to use. To keep the cycle going, though, if I have things I can’t give away, I take them to the Planet Aid box across the street, knowing they will go to someone that truly needs them. It’s a good thing and I have never understood the mentality that hand-me downs are something to be ashamed of.

  • Anonymous says:

    Another hand-me down rule

    Don’t borrow or take clothes and then try to make a profit on them by selling my cute stuff in your garage sale!!!!!! Ugh!!!! Chaps my hide!!

    • admin says:

      Re: Another hand-me down rule

      Yeah, between friends or family in particular that would be kind of jarring unless a situation arose where it was necessary (ie. the family is in need of extra cash or donations for a fundraiser, unexpected cost, etc).

  • victorymarch says:

    I really hate that the hand-me-down cycle seems to be exclusively associated with lower-income/poverty and that there’s this cloud of shame. It perpetuates a culture of consumption and spending. As though people, through accumulation of means and wealth, are suddenly above the principles of the three R’s. I’m not saying people should exclusively have to live through hand me downs or second hand items, but I just find it such a shame that even including those kinds of items in one’s life is only what you do out of necessity. Blerg.

    edit: Aaaagh, you baby is so cute I may fall over. Also, where is this gem of a wool shop you have found? I’ve been going to the Beehive for most of my stuff lately, but it’d be nice to have some more locally owned/operated options.

  • I am in love with Z’s butt! Neither of my children have ANY butt to speak of…

  • just_shoe_me says:

    Those pictures!! She is just too cute. 🙂

  • She’s such a fatty! I love that big ole butt 🙂

    • admin says:

      No, I haven’t. I’m torn on wanting to see it because the set up sounds a little like it’s perpetuating a heteronormative relationship as the “best”… and that line of thinking leads to a lot of problems, not just homophobia but the idea that women should stay with men who are abusive, unsupportive or otherwise unhealthy to be with because their children “need a father”.

      • altarflame says:

        I’ve been thinking about this comment a lot. I also think I’ve come a long way in recent years with confronting and analyzing my own hidden and subtle homophobic attitudes. I’d like it if you could like…clarify, if you have time and this isn’t too irritating…some points I keep stumbling on?

        1. The word “heteronormative” always seems vaguely silly to me, since our species is heteronormative…like, it’s ok that not everyone is hetero but if the vast majority of people, statistically, are, doesn’t that make that the “norm”? Or does saying that automatically imply that homosexuality is abnormal? Does “abnormal” automatically have to be negative? I guess it seems fair and reasonable to me for the majority of media to cater to heterosexual people if the majority of people are heterosexual. For instance if you go to a big store, they have a few handicapped parking spaces and a wheelchair ramp, but most of the parking lot is regular spaces and the main entrance centered at the front is the one for people who can step up. Is that, like, able-normative? I swear I am not trying to be stupid here, I really am trying to get my point across and that’s the best example I can think of…like, is a nod to the fact that not everyone is hetero sufficient, or is it preferable/ideal/whatever to give them equal time? I would really like to have a conversation about this with someone well spoken and hopefully not pissed at me who sees a problem with heteronormative ________.

        2. I am 100% on board with women leaving abusive, unsupportive and otherwise unhealthy men regardless of them being fathers to children, and also fully supportive (with votes as well as opinions) of single people and gay couples adopting. That said, I feel that there is a real biological link that is…I don’t know, significant is the best word I can think of, and can’t just be discounted as irrelevant even when inconvenient. Case in point: extremely ill-suited bio father to my first two children, who was abusive and who has never acted like a loving dad in the last 8-9 years, who my daughter nevertheless acts tense at the mention of and my son nevertheless asks/talks about all the time without prompting. They’ve both inherited gestures, expressions and tendencies along with looks. I can’t undo it (much as I’d sometimes like to). There’s that whole “primal wound” thing where good adoptive parents are supposed to accept the period of grief even a newborn undergoes when placed with them. I kind of compare it to breastfeeding in my own mind: it’s the ideal. Can you be a badass mother with a double mastectomy? A badass male couple with donor milk? A badass exclusively pumping/formula feeding cuz your meds make it necessary and you have no support/relactating/whatever the hell infant feeding parent? YES, yes and yes! I’m not here to judge anybody. Do I believe breastfeeding is the natural default and “optimal”? Yes. And I will never tire of watching documentaries, videos, gifs, examples etc that celebrate it, because I feel like it isn’t fair to devalue it just because not everyone’s set up allows for that. Anyway, that is sort of how I feel about having a biological mom and dad in the picture. I know lesbians raising kids and my best RL friend down here is a single mom and they’re all awesome, and I don’t think they’re inferior, just like I don’t think my family is inferior because it’s not a perfect nuclear family with all the biology and last names lining up…but I still think fathers are important, beneficial, something that’s missing when it’s messed up, etc etc. I don’t want to devalue fatherhood. My dad means a lot to me; what I feel I owe Grant for, more than anything else, is giving Ananda and Aaron a good dad. I feel like it’s a better situation all around, that he was able to be the bio and “real” Dad to Isaac, Jake and Elise – that they get the genetic link to the cool guy they have a relationship with. Fatherhood, like motherhood, seems very celebration-worthy to me… Does this make any sense? Do you have anything to throw in my brain about it?

        Note: I do not know a damned thing about the link bazoOka threw out in the OC.

        • altarflame says:

          If this is something you feel should be done privately through email, just delete/reply that way/let me know and I’ll delete. I’m not trying to perpetuate ignorance or start public drama, at all.

        • admin says:

          No it’s cool.

          1. Heteronormative as a thing isn’t simply about reproduction and tab A into slot B as a species, it’s about a system and society that’s designed to heavily favour heterosexual relationships, as well as heterosexual people, above all else. They have more important relationships, more important love, more important job opportunities, more important everything. EVERYTHING. And it emphasizes the importance of “fathers” in a child’s life because only a “strong male influence” is important to somehow counteract a mother, because A.. she’s not good enough on her own and, B. any female partner she has can never live up to some random one with a penis. Because penises are superior in every. single. way. And I mean… think about that. You know that’s bullshit. Penises do nothing. And yet somehow they mean everything…?
          I think that’s complete and utter bullshit. Bull. Fucking. Shit. And I think the “studies” that prove it are bullshit, because they’re based in homophobic and heteronormative situations, so they’re not really taking into account the reality of gay, or healthy single, parenting so it’s not by any means a fair look at the picture.

          And yes, “Abnormal” by definition is negative. By characterizing gay people and relationships as normal you’re erasing the reality of GLBTQ life and labeling it as bad. Abnormal is a “bad” word in that sense. Abnormal psychology. Abnormal growth, etc… it’s not a good term.
          As for the last part, I’m having trouble parsing what it is you’re trying to say so we’d probably have to discuss that in full later on when I’ve had more sleep and have more time to devote to it… ’cause I don’t really know how to form an answer based on a question I’m not sure you’ve asked. O_o

          2. I feel like a lot of that is based on the fact that you’re heterosexual (and your worldview is therefore extremely hetersexual leaning, and isn’t going to be open to understanding queer parenting the way it would be if you’ve lived most of your life accepting it rather than just the last few years), and that society as a whole supports your view. This one takes a lot more than one comment to answer, and I kind of wish I could just linkspam you but I don’t have all the most awesome stuff on hand… the long and short of it is: a biased world creates biased views and supports biased ideas through biased media. This whole structure of “men are important TOO” is sort based in sexism, once you break it down far enough because the whole foundation of it is that women are the only people that automatically quality as parents and child care providers, therefore men either had to “gain approval as fathers” or otherwise have to step outside their gender roles to be seen as awesome parents. They’re also celebrated for even the slightest, most basic achievement in parenting that mothers do on a daily basis, a hundred times a day. This is stupid, and only reinforces the stupid ideas about women being made to do nothing else but reproduce and men being super duper special if they lower themselves to women’s work.
          I don’t know if this is making sense…. I’m not even going back through to double check it, as I was supposed to be asleep an hour ago and have to stop and come back to this every 5 minutes because baby keeps pulling on my face or screaming or something. Anyway. Yes there’s MUCH MUCH MUCH more to this than I can ever give you here… it’s a huge topic.

  • ozoozol says:

    comics

    I’ve been reading Order of the Stick for at least seven years (it’s up to 827 pages now): http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html

    Along a more NSFW line (though not nearly as NSFW as Oglaf), Khaos Komix, starts here: http://www.khaoskomix.com/komix/steves-story-cover

  • thehobbit says:

    I’ve realized that my childhood (and my Mother) has warped my relationship with clothing. I can’t throw away books OR clothes. I feel they’re things that need to be clung to until you can find someone who needed them as much as you once did and then they must be given away. Selling clothes is somehow really, really wrong to me. With that said, before giving birth I bagged up at least ten bags of clothes and gave them away. Because keeping clothing is silly, but I do it. I now have at least three bags of boy baby clothes that need to go but finding time to get them to a new home is a bit…trying right now.

    Other than that I’m so pleased you found Oglaf. I have the Steak and Bitches shirt (though an XL is somehow not cut for my boobs) and I got the first book for Christmas. It lives in my guest bathroom and I’ve now read it…three times? Have you found Platinum Grit yet? It’s Trudy’s other comic and I feel she’s been writing it for something like ten years. She’s also on LJ but I don’t think she updates that often. Um, and in case you were curious, yes I do have a webcomic problem. I’ve finally cut down to three daily updates and my weekend comics, but if I didn’t watch myself there are several I could add back on to the list.

  • sylvanna says:

    Somehow, you turned hand-me-downs into an interesting subject.

  • oh my god sigh you make such adorable children

  • eponine82 says:

    Do you have any resources for freecycling/hand-me-downs? I have a bunch of cloth diapers that I’ve been holding onto for awhile and can’t find anyone locally who wants to CD 🙁

  • gardenmama says:

    What about garage sales? When we were growing up we got and gave hand-me-downs and also hit a lot of garage sales. I was the oldest of all my cousins by several years. We had a neighbor with a daughter a year older than me and we got stuff from her mom for me. Then it got passed down through all my girl cousins and came back seven years later for my sister, and passed down to the girl cousins who were younger than she. That was before it was exponentially expensive to ship things through the mail. Or we’d bring bags of stuff out to my grandma’s house when we’d go for Thanksgiving and my cousins would have a bonanza of stuff. My mom also sewed some of our clothes, and she never paid full retail price when she shopped new. It it was missing a button or needed a zipper replaced, she would talk the price down 😉 And every summer she had a garage sale to get rid of things we no longer used or needed. I guess that maybe wasn’t a ton of clothes, but I do remember getting clothes at garage sales. I remember being in high school and these girls talking about spending $40 or $50 on a pair of designer jeans! I was wearing jeans for 25 cents and they fit and didn’t have rips, or my mom patched the rips creatively to make it look intentional 😉

    I see groups on facebook now selling kids stuff, and most of it is pretty reasonably priced. I’d rather see kids furniture and stuff go to someone who needs it than go to the dump. Some of the clothes are a bit outrageous I guess. We also have a consignment shop here in town that will only take designer stuff, and it has to be recent. I thought she might take an expensive dress I had bought to wear to a wedding, but it wasn’t “this year’s design” or the right designer. Now that boggles my mind. None of my friends have ever checked the label of anything I’ve ever worn or wondered who the designer was!

  • gerimaple says:

    You and Curtis do make adorable children 🙂 Also, how did you achieve that rainbow manicure?

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    No way on 1 & 2. I’ve never given or received like that–clean absolutely but folded no.

    • altarflame says:

      I agree – I’ve gotten MANY MANY hefty bags of clothes from all kinds of sources over the decades (my childhood, my pregnancies, my kids…) but how in the hell do you fold shit in hefty bags anyway?

      Washed and organized by size, yes.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve never sold used clothing or going to used clothing stores. My kids clothing have been hand-me-down so many times I’ve lost count. But wash clothing, sort into sizes, fix any rips, tears and even hems that are frayed. If a hem is so bad (like jeans) I will cut both hems, and then seam it up like it wasn’t even worn. I have kids clothing that is over 15 years old that still looks new and been on so many different kids.

        Another rule i would like to add that’s not carved in stone: don’t give the stuff away then want it back. It’s rude to ask for clothing that you gave away. Even if you are expecting another child, it’s rude to just say “you know that big ole bag of stuff I gave you years ago?” yes that bag, I want it back. That has actually happened to me. The person then wrote down all the clothing she apparently loaned out to me, not given.
        And went through it all and took it all back even the stuff that my child hadn’t worn or gotten to wear because it was too big yet. SCREW THEM I DON’T WANT THEIR SHITTY CLOTHING THEN!

    • admin says:

      Serious? I’ve never had a bag given to me that wasn’t washed and folded by size… And I never give away without at least TRYING to fold and organize.

      • mammaopal says:

        I recently did a winter clothing drive for Attawapiskat, and filled an entire ROOM with donations from people. In my exprience, the higher up the socio-economic ladder the family who donated was, the more neat and tidy the donations were. Folded, sorted and smelling fresh only came from about 10% of the donations (and never sorted by size). The rest of them is a mish-mash, stuffed into bags.

        However, the mailed donations from ME, are clean, folded and sorted by size, but I’m talking about boxes and boxes of clothing. I don’t want to be a burden to the recieving end of the charity.

      • ppplmgwiw says:

        Serious. I’ve NEVER received anything like that, never been bothered by it, and never had any complaints when I’ve passed on a bag of awesome, clean, disorganized free clothing. First thing I do with hand-me-downs is dump out the bag/box to see what I like and turf the rest–and that generally involves the child for whom the clothes are destined getting in there, too, grabbing and trying on, and playing, etc. Given that, any pre-folding/sorting would go to waste with me, so I’m glad no one I’ve ever known has done it!

  • _delphiki_ says:

    I had a lot of clothes gifted or freecycled for my second baby, not so much for my first, but I don’t get the reselling thing at all. I’d much rather give my son’s very gently used clothing to another family who can use them than sell them. Clothes are expensive. I have clothes for my second that were “hand me downs” that still have tags on them because he was so long and just wasn’t in that size long enough to wear it. (He’s in a 24months, 2T and he’s almost 1.)

    Then again, I also donate my SOs kids clothes (and she does too) and my older son. I mean, the money has already been spent- why shouldn’t someone less fortunate get to wear really nice gently worn clothes that some child just outgrew? My 8 year old’s favorite shirt was $0.50 at the thrift store and it fits his skinny little self better than anything else. Things don’t have to be new, to be nice.

Leave a Reply